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Crack-cocaine teacher too 'intoxicated' to recall night out escapes ban

A teacher found in possession of crack cocaine in a Devon nightclub has been reprimanded but allowed to stay in the classroom.

Alan Stuckey escaped a formal ban from the profession at a General Teaching Council (GTC) hearing last week, where he said he was too "intoxicated" to remember the events leading up to his arrest for possession of a "white paper in a clear wrap".

Mr Stuckey, who qualified 10 years ago, was found with the drug by security staff at a club in Teignmouth, South Devon, in January 2009.

He was cautioned by officers at Torquay Police Station seven months later, but maintained that his recollection of events was "sporadic". Despite this, he admitted possession of the Class-A drug to the GTC professional conduct committee and agreed it was unacceptable behaviour.

The committee said it had taken into account Mr Stuckey's previously unblemished record, positive references from his school and the fact that he had shown insight into his failings. It also pointed out that no pupils had been put at risk.

"Mr Stuckey's behaviour has fallen short of the standards of conduct expected of a registered teacher and is behaviour which involves a breach of the standards of propriety expected of the profession," said hearing chairman Paul Bird.

"He has a previous good history. The incident appears to us to be an isolated one. We have considered the testimonials, which have been presented by his current school, and the references we have seen are positive and supportive of him as a teacher.

"Mr Stuckey has shown some insight that his actions are damaging to the profession. There has been no repetition of this behaviour and no pupils have been placed at risk by the actions considered in this case."

Mr Stuckey's reprimand will stay on his record for two years.

The committee will not say which school Mr Stuckey works in because the case was referred to the GTC by police.

DRUG SQUAD

USERS BUSTED, BUT NOT BANNED

There have been two other cases of teachers caught with crack cocaine.

Michael Swann was found guilty of possession by the GTC last year, but he avoided further disciplinary action after he was praised by his head for being a role model for pupils. South Yorkshire Police arrested Mr Swann, who teaches at Maltby Community School in Rotherham, in October 2007 for possessing the Class-A drug in a nightclub. They released him with a caution.

William Horseman fell asleep in lessons, but was also allowed to return to his job. Mr Horseman, who now works at Merchants' Academy in Bristol, admitted being a crack user while teaching at the Ridings High School.

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